Charles Hinman is an American artist who helped to change the course and perception of modern art.
Early Life and Education
Charles Hinman was born in Syracuse, New York in 1932. He attended classes at the Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts (now the Everson Museum of Art) and went on to study at Syracuse University, where he received his BFA in 1955. While studying at Syracuse he played professional baseball for the Milwaukee Braves in their minor league team.
Hinman moved to New York to study at the Art Students League. He served in the Army for two years before returning to New York to pursue his career as an artist.
Once back in New York, Hinman taught mechanical drawing at the Staten Island Academy from 1960 to 1962 and carpentry at the Woodmere Academy on Long Island.
He met James Rosenquist in 1960. Rosenquist was one of the artists who lived and worked in a loft in Coenties Slip in lower Manhattan, along with other young artists like Robert Indiana and Ellsworth Kelly. The group at Coenties Slip distanced themselves from the Abstract Expressionists and began to forge their own unique styles. Hinman and Rosenquist shared an abandoned sail-making loft in the Slip. They, and the other artists in the group, produced work that bridged the gap between the Abstract Expressionists who came before and the Pop and Minimalists who would come after.
In 1964, Hinman’s shaped canvases were shown in a group exhibit called Seven New Artists at the Sidney Janis Gallery and at a solo exhibit at the Richard Feigen Gallery. Those initial shows, and invitations to show with other artists, like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Sol Lewitt, who also used shaped canvases and minimal colors in their works, jump started Hinman’s career and garnered attention for his work from major museums like MoMA, the Whitney and the Albright–Knox Art Gallery.
In 1965, Hinman left the Slip and moved to the Bowery, where he shared a building with Robert Indiana at 2 Spring Street.
From 1971 to 1973 the Parisian gallerist Denise René showed his work at her Paris and New York galleries.
In 1971, Hinman moved to an 8000 square foot studio, not far from the one he shared with Indiana, where he continues to live and work.
Charles Hinman’s work is in the permanent collections of MoMA, the Whitney, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Hirshorn Museum, the Musee’ des Beaux Arts de l’Ontario, the Tel Aviv Museum, the Albright Knox Art Gallery and other major museums and galleries.
Mark Jenkins. At the Kreeger Museum, canvases that combine both painting and sculpture. The Washington Post. May 16, 2019.
Kriston Capps. Charles Hinman: Structures, 1965–2014 Is All About the Color and the Shape. Washington Citypaper. June 20, 2019.
Blue Plate. Charles Hinman Structures at Kreeger Museum. The Georgetown Dish. March 19, 2019.
Stephanie Barron. From the Archives: Giving Art History The Slip. ARTNEWS. Art in America. April 5, 2017.
Lilly Wei. Charles Hinman. ARTNEWS. Art in America. November 6, 2012.